Wanna go somewhere with your friends? Unsure as to how to go about planning a trip with them? Well, lucky for you I’ve gone on quite a few trips with friends so I thought I’d help out some of my favorite internet strangers.
This is honestly the most important part about travelling with other people. You need to have a consensus on how much you can spend on this trip. If you don’t, then planning is impractical. Everything revolves around money and if you don’t know how much you want to spend, or you don’t set a budget, then you will end up spending way too much. Also, some people have different ideas on how much a trip should cost, so you need to be open and honest with your friends you want to plan this trip with. If you’re not comfortable with a number speak up.
Now take your budget and start researching. My favorite websites are Google Flights and Kayak. Start with a list of the top 5 places that you each want to visit and go from there. Research both flights and hotels when you’re doing preliminary research because sometimes a flight may be cheap but the hotels/hostels/bnbs can be extremely expensive or vice versa. You might also want to look at how popular or busy the places you want to go might be, or what season it will be. If you want to be around a bumping atmosphere maybe don’t go during off-season. If you want to be cold don’t go during Summer.
Okay, so now you have an idea for where you want to go, the next step is deciding for how long. How much PTO do you have? How long is your break? Do you want to come back a few hours before your next shift/class–or a few days? Timing also depends on where you’re going, but having a approximation of how long you can spend on a trip is a good place to start. You can always change it, but having an idea is good for the start of a plan.
Accommodation. Accommodation. Accommodation. Do you want to be in a room full of strangers? Do you need multiple beds? Do you want to stay in someone else’s home? How close do you want to be to the city center–transportation–bars? Accommodation is all about defining your comfort level based on your budget, and with groups it means making compromises. Sometimes accommodation during travel can be the last place you want to be during the day because it’s dark and dingy, and that’s okay. Travel isn’t all about being comfortable, but you also don’t want to go too far. Just because your friend may be okay with sleeping in a room full of 20 strangers, maybe you’re not. So compromise. Talk to each other. Figure out what will work best for your budget and needs.
Research the place you’re traveling to before you get there. Heck, it can be on the plane ride, but at least google a little bit before you land. Mark down landmarks, activities, and transportation. Exploring a new place is amazing, but showing up blind is not the ideal way to go about travel–not if you want to do it efficiently. Also, the best way to save money is to plan out activities in advance. Most places will give you a discount for purchasing tickets/excursion online before you arrive. It also allows you to figure out how much you can do based on the time and budget you’ve already set.
There are plenty of ways to keep track of your travel plans. You can use Microsoft Excel, Google Docs, Travefy, etc. The most important thing is that you keep track of it all. Create folders in your email to keep all your confirmation emails in one place. Personally, I love to write everything down in a moleskin notebook. I glue in a calendar of the days I plan to travel and on each day I mark down the activities we might do, my confirmation numbers for travel/accommodation, and then on the pages following the calendar I keep a travel diary of each day. It’s a nice way to keep all your plans together and then write down what actually happened.
This list isn’t the be-all-end-all of planning a trip with friends but it is a nice guide for where to start, because I know how stressful planning a trip can be. So the more help you get in the beginning the better.
Have any tips I forgot? Or some cool other websites/ideas for keeping track of your travels? Let me know in the comments down below!
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Thanks for Reading!